How to be an Annoying B2B Marketing Idiot

I like George Carlin. Not the least because he's a genius. But another reason is, in the span of two years, my content marketing has taken on the same evolutionary arc as his comedy: from goofy deadbeat to grumpy existential fucker.

His "Familiar Expressions" cleverly and hilariously highlights the senselessness of phrases like legally drunk and undisputed heavyweight champion.

These senseless expressions that Carlin targeted in his bit also have idiomatic equivalents in business. Wannabe-cool management buzzspeak that plague B2B marketing and the egotistical, so-called personal branding.

To be fair, most idioms once served a purpose by describing a complex idea in an original, accurate, and concise way. Out of the box, for instance, must have really hit it on the nail (see what I did there?) for brainstorming facilitators in samethinking cubicled offices--for about two months.

With overuse and misuse, however, they--like an indie song--eventually lose what made them effective in the first place.

No longer original nor accurate, they just muddle up, quite annoyingly, instead of clarifying, what are now familiar concepts. And in a crowded B2B outsourcing and tech market, with 20 vendors selling the same features using the same laughably cool-trying words, these expressions will land you in a rant by the IT and outsourcing ghost of George Carlin.

The Next Level

I bet at least half the people who say they're going to take something to the next level have no clue what the hell that level is.

Cutting Edge

I think being on the cutting edge is a very dangerous proposition. Why risk barely missing the blade, when you can just move to a comfortable position on the other side? I assume the other side is already the next level, right?

Level the Playing Field

I didn't know it was uneven. Your contractor should sort it out.

Game-Changing / Game-Changer

Why are people so obsessed about leveling the playing field, when they're going to change the game anyway?


What art? And what if the art is going through a sucky period, what if it's in the doldrums? Wouldn't that mean state-of-the-art sucks? And at best, state-of-the-art could only be status quo. Shouldn't you be shooting for loftier clich├ęs like innovative, transformative, and disruptive?


But the world's kinda shitty (global warming, climate change, terrorism, world hunger, wage inequality, discrimination of all kinds), so this isn't really a good thing, is it?


Anytime you use a superlative without objective proof, you're just making an empty, unsubstantiated, unbelievable claim. And unless you're in animal husbandry, best not talk about breeds.

Pushing the Envelope

What envelope? And why push it? And to where? And how could the act of nudging a paper product with your fingers signify innovation?


And to drive the point home, here's Carlin to berate you shitless: